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PR- 114-07
April 18, 2007


Launches New Directory of Services for Immigrants

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares today celebrated Immigrant History Week by launching the City’s first Directory of Services for Immigrants, a resource of more than 250 community-based organizations that offer free or low cost services for all New Yorkers. Immigrant History Week is celebrated from April 16th through the 22nd – including April 17th, the day in 1907 when the most immigrants in history passed through Ellis Island. This year marks the 100th anniversary of that day.  At today’s reception, Mayor Bloomberg also presented five awards to organizations and individuals for their tireless work on behalf of immigrant New Yorkers. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at Gracie Mansion by Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs Carol Robles-Roman, The New York Times Executive Director of Community Affairs and Media Relations Diane McNulty, and Tony Award-winning playwright, actor and poet Sarah Jones. Civic, religious and business leaders from across the City’s immigrant communities also joined in the festivities.

“New York City owes its greatness to the generations of people who have come here from around the world in pursuit of their dreams,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The events of this week showcase the work and contributions of immigrants that make our City such a dynamic place to live and work and remind us that our city will continue to be a gateway for people seeking a better life.”

“Immigrant History Week celebrates who we are as a city and where we come from,” said Commissioner Linares. “The more than 50 events around the city are a reflection of the rich cultural heritage that makes New York City what it is today.”

“The New York Times is delighted to support Immigrant History Week again this year,” said Diane McNulty, Executive Director of Community Affairs and Media Relations at The New York Times. “We are happy to be part of a campaign that celebrates both the history of immigration in New York City and its bright future.”

Established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2004, Immigrant History Week honors the experiences and contributions of the millions of immigrants who have shaped our City for generations. The weeklong cultural celebration features more than 50 free or low-cost events throughout the five boroughs.  The events include family programs, cultural celebrations and multi-day workshops hosted by community organizations, museums, public libraries and CUNY.

As part of Immigrant History Week, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has released a comprehensive guide of community based organizations that provide services for New York City’s immigrants. The guide provides valuable information about the types of services available in the five boroughs and languages spoken at the provider locations.  These services include, for example, adult literacy programs, immigration and legal services, and health and nutrition counseling. The guide also contains information in English, Spanish, Chinese and Russian about key City laws and policies that affect immigrants.  The Directory of Services for Immigrants is available in print by calling 311. The listing of organizations in the guide is also available online at

Among the events scheduled for this year’s Immigrant History Week celebration are:

  • “Many Hands, Many Places,” a timely exhibit featuring the works crafted by immigrant artisans from the Bronx Council on Arts, Artisans Initiative.
  • “Silent Film Series: Hungry Hearts and The Immigrant,” a recently restored dramatic film based on the short stories of Anzia Yezierska, who emigrated from Polish Russia to Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
  • “The Immigrant Experience – Crossing the Boulevard,” a multi-media performance that traces the lives of recent immigrants to Queens.
  • “ID’ By Local Project,” an art exhibition sparking discussion on identity in a city of old and new immigrants – as well as old and new identities.
  • “Heroic Immigrants…Major Contributions,” a lecture/slide series conducted by local historians and authors focuses on the contributions of various immigrant cultures to the history of the Staten Island community.

Mayor Bloomberg honored the following Immigrant History Week 2007 awardees for their work in immigrant communities.

Founded in 1980, FoodChange provides emergency meals to New York City’s hungry children and adults.  Through education and direct service, FoodChange increases low-income New Yorkers knowledge of nutrition and healthy foods and tries to make wholesome eating a daily reality.

Domestic Workers United
Domestic Workers United is an industry-wide organization of Caribbean, Latina, and African women that includes more than 600,000 workers employed as nannies, housekeepers, cleaners and, among other occupations, cooks.  It was formed in April 2000.

Kayhan Irani
Kayhan Irani is dedicated to unleashing beauty and truth from unconventional and irregular platforms.  Her most recent work, a one-woman show entitled “We’ve Come Undone,” highlights the lives of immigrant women post-9/11.

Juana Ponce de Leon
Juana Ponce de Leon is the director of Grassroots Media Programs for the New York Chapter of the Independent Press Association (IPA-NY), and the editor of its acclaimed translation service, “Voices That Must Be Heard.”

Weihua “Wendy” Wen
Wendy Wen is an ESL instructor who teaches at United Bronx Parents, a community-based organization with a longstanding partnership with the NYC Department of Education.  Her expertise is in teaching adults with very minimal English skills as well as limited native language literacy skills.

The New York Times sponsored the celebration at Gracie Mansion.  Immigrant History Week partners include Western Union, Vigo, CitiBank, The New York Community Trust, GOYA, 1-800-Mattress, Presidente, Fresh Concentrate, and WNYC New York Public Radio.  For more information on Immigrant History Week, please visit or call 311.


Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958


Wilbert Cruz   (Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs)
(212) 788-9964

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